20 June 2005

Filed under Books

Last Orders at Harrods

An imagined view of the Harrods Bar & Cafe Interior

An African Tale

Charity Mupanga has a problem. The widowed owner of Harrods International Bar (and Nightspot), the most popular meeting place in the shantytown of Kireba can handle most of life's challenges, but threatening letters from those powerful London lawyers are beginning to fluster her.

How dare a London store, no matter how big and famous, claim exclusive use of the first name of her late father, Harrods Tangwenya, gardener to successive British high commissioners for nearly twenty years? Well-meant but inept efforts to foil the big city lawyers bring Harrods to the brink of disaster, and Charity close to despair. But an accidental riot, coupled with some quick thinking by Titus Ntoto, the 14-year-old leader of the slum's toughest street gang, leaves both lawyers and locals happy with the outcome in this sharply observed satirical look at contemporary Africa.

Charity with the boys

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'Charity Mupanga is an African heroine in the spirit of Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe - big hearted, township-wise and self-reliant.'
- Peter Godwin, author of MUKIWA: A WHITE BOY IN AFRICA

'In this satirical feast, Holman hits his mark every time he exposes the humbug and also humanity of life in modern Africa. With a Dickensian cast of characters in the troubled nation of Kuwisha, and a plot worthy of Waugh, this is a cracking fictional debut. Full of humour, home truths - and anger simmering beneath it all - this is a book that must be read.'
- Aidan Hartley, author of ZANZIBAR CHEST

"This wickedly satirical novel is also a serious critique of Africa's troubled state"
- Guardian

"Gripping, informative, satirical...a road map though the social, economic and political landscape of Kenya"
- Sunday Standard, Nairobi

"Rather like Evelyn Waugh on acid meeting Alexander McCall Smith, veteran Africa journalist Michael Holman's book Last Orders at Harrods is an explosion of pure reading joy...For the sheer joy and vitality of this book Last Order at Harrods gets my vote as book of the year thus far."
- Cape Times, South Africa

"An immensely important book that fearlessly slaughters sacred cows, cuts through the rubbish and tells it as it is. The plot is educated farce, in the way that Tom Sharpe's novels are, but the message is deadly serious."
- Geographic

"Michael Holman's Last Orders at Harrods is candid indictment of the African's inability to successfully manage his affairs." Read the full review here.
- Okechukwu Uwaezuoke


Last Orders at Harrods Trilogy:
1. Last Orders at Harrods
2. Fatboy and the Dancing Ladies
3. Dizzy Worms

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